[tps_title] Springfield-Montco Spartans [/tps_title]
New schedule, new energy for Spartans
The Spring-Montco football program has gone from not being able to field a varsity team three years ago to a growing roster that now has 56 players.
“We’re gonna build off of last season’s success,” coach Chris Shelly said. “I think we have a lot of guys that experienced that success last year so we’re hoping to take it to the next level.
“We have some new bodies, some new faces. We have a junior quarterback who has a ton of potential but he hasn’t been in the fire yet.”
Not to worry, especially with the beef Springfield has up front.
“Our line coming back, we have three starters there,” Shelly said. “We’re feeling pretty good. We just gotta stay healthy and we like our schedule.”
It’s a schedule that features a pair of long road trips for the Spartans, who now play independently.
“We’re taking two road trips to the middle of Pennsylvania, which I think is gonna be kind of cool for us,” Shelly said.
Springfield’s defense has been bolstered by some size up front and has plenty of experience in the linebacking corp.
“We have two inside backers with J.P. McGowan and Keith Grantland, and we finally got some big bodies to play some D-tackle,” Shelly said. “We usually don’t get big kids, but we got some bigger kids to play D-tackle.
“On the back end, we do have some competition for the secondary spots, so that’s one area we gotta really look at,” Shelly said.
The Spartans have more home games this year than in recent seasons and anticipate the opportunity to play in front of their fans.
They have two young quarterbacks to go to and are looking to expand the offense. Having more bodies to go to definitely helps things out.
“I think we have a lot of team camaraderie and the spirit is really there,” running back Ray Ebner said. “We have a lot of energy in the practices and everything so it’s going well right now.
“In the past, we’ve just had to grind with whatever numbers we’ve got, so this year, we’re able to build depth, getting more players in certain positions so we can try to work them in.”
OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH
Sam Shapley, Lineman >> The senior brings tremendous size and skill, helping to pave a big wall up front. His leadership is also a tremendous asset as Springfield works in a lot of younger players this year on an expanded roster.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH
Keith Grantland, Linebacker >> The senior is a big reason why the linebacking corp is a strength for the Spartans. Grantland gets to the ball carrier quickly and is a tremendous leader in the huddle. He brings a lot of versatility to the position.
By Kev Hunter, firstname.lastname@example.org